10 Ways to Cut Your Energy Costs at Home

As energy rates continue to increase, you may be on the lookout for ways to scale back your usage and save money. While big investments like replacing the windows or installing high-efficiency HVAC systems absolutely make your home more efficient, you can reduce energy costs today with virtually no up-front investment. Here’s how you do that. 

1. Check Your HVAC Air Filter

Check the filter monthly and swap it out when it appears dirty, or every three months, whichever happens first. The cost of a new filter can be recouped by boosting efficiency, guaranteeing proper airflow, and preventing the HVAC equipment from overheating. Your home should feel more comfortable and have healthier indoor air with a fresh filter in place. 

2. Set Your Thermostat for Energy Savings 

Keep the temperature at 70 degrees or lower in the winter and adjust it to 77 degrees or warmer over the summer. Then, wear clothing that suits the season to help you stay comfortable. 

3. Put in a Programmable Thermostat

If you still use an old manual thermostat, look for a programmable model. A smart thermostat pays for itself quickly via energy savings by enabling you to program setback schedules while you’re away or sleeping. Intelligent temperature recovery means you conserve energy without ever dealing with an uncomfortable home. Try to find a smart Wi-Fi thermostat you can program remotely for additional opportunities to save. 

4. Keep Up with Preventative HVAC Maintenance

Preventative maintenance delivers a great return on investment. First of all, it pays you back by slashing your energy bills. After all, a tuned-up HVAC system works more efficiently than a poorly maintained one. You also lessen the risk of breakdowns and the necessary repair costs. Plus, your heating and cooling is bound to live a few years longer when you care for it today. 

5. Locate and Seal Air Leaks 

Air leaks can form wherever two building materials are found. Locate and seal these leaks to keep your home comfortable and reduce the strain on your HVAC system. Here are some tips: 

  • Replace old weatherstripping to help windows and doors are sealed more tightly.  
  • Re-caulk the cracks around windows and doors to avoid air leaks. 
  • Apply expanding spray foam close to wiring, plumbing, air ducts, and other penetrations in your home’s walls, ceilings and floors.  
  • Close the fireplace damper when a fire isn’t being lit. 

6. Use Solar Heat Gain to Your Advantage

During the summer, the goal is to reduce solar heat gain. Putting reflective curtains over the windows through the afternoon is an easy way to handle this. If your budget allows, you can also plant trees on the south and west sides of your home. By looking for deciduous trees, you can enjoy cooling shade for the summer while still allowing the sun to heat your home for free throughout the winter. 

7. Use Water Wisely 

Conserve this limited resource and lower your water bills with these tips: 

  • Take shorter showers as opposed to lengthy baths. 
  • Install low-flow showerheads and aerated faucets. 
  • Turn off the water when you are shaving and brushing your teeth. 
  • Fix drippy faucets, running toilets, and leaky pipes as soon as possible. 

8. Unplug Electronics

Plug computers, printers, TVs, Blu-ray players, game consoles and other electronics into power strips. This way, you can shut them off with the flip of a switch when they aren’t being used. While you’re at it, unplug cell phone chargers and other adapters when you don’t need them to prevent small amounts of “phantom” energy consumption. 

9. Upgrade Your Light Bulbs

Do you still have old incandescent bulbs throughout the house? Replace them with LEDs to save nearly 70 percent on your lighting bills. Bulb replacement costs also decrease because LEDs live about 25 times longer than incandescent light bulbs. 

10. Use Appliances Efficiently

Appliances are the power hogs of the home. Conserve energy with any of these tips: 

  • Close windows and doors when using the furnace or air conditioner. 
  • Turn down the water heater temperature to 120 degrees and install an insulating blanket. 
  • Only run the dishwasher and washing machine with full loads. 
  • Disable the heated-dry functionality on your dishwasher. 
  • Hang your clothes outside to dry when possible. 
  • Heat up food in the microwave as opposed to the oven or stove, especially on summer afternoons. 
  • If your local utility provider charges more for electricity around “peak times,” aim to use your appliances during low-peak periods. 

Get Help Lowering Home Energy Costs

A lot of cost-cutting measures are directly related to your home heating, cooling and plumbing systems. If you need help making use of these tips, contact Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing. We offer affordable maintenance and repair support, as well as cost-effective installation and replacement services. Additionally, with financing options available, even big upgrades will suit your budget. For more info about our services or to request an estimate, please contact your local Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing office today. 

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